6 SEO Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And How to Fix Them)

Sure, it’s easy to nod along whenever your colleagues mention SEO, but sometimes all the jargon goes right over your head. Ranking. Organic. Keyword Density. Trust us, you’re not alone. But don’t let it intimidate you. As complicated as SEO can be, there are still very simple steps you can implement today that will ensure your content is up to industry SEO standards.


First off, what is SEO really, and why does it matter? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that it’s more likely a search engine, like Google or Bing, serves your link as the top result when users search a keyword. It’s important that your content pages are optimized because it will help increase site traffic which in turn can increase leads and transactions.


Well if SEO is so important, everyone’s probably pretty great at it, right? Turns out, even some of the best website out there make these seven common SEO mistakes:

 

1. Having Messy URLs

Keep your URLs as clean and concise as possible to help improve SEO rankings and user experience. Some blog visual editors, like WordPress, automatically pull in the title or first line of the blog post into the URL field. Often times, this is a bit too long and chock full of grammatical articles, like “the” or “an”. Always take the time to shorten these URLs until they simply contain pertinent words. For example, if your article title is “32 Reasons Why Lemurs Are Super Awesome”, you can tailor your URL down to “/awesome-lemurs” or “/reasons-lemurs-awesome”.

2. Choosing Irrelevant Keywords

Without the correct keywords, there’s almost no chance new users are going to come across your amazing content. Make sure to do your keyword research and pinpoint what commonly searched terms pertain to your company, then you can create content relative to these key terms.

3. Publishing Content That Isn’t Original

Ensure that all the content you publish is original and that you’re putting out content at a consistent rate. Publishing borrowed content can get your site marked as spam or downgrade your search results.

4. Forgetting to Include Title Tags and Meta Tags

It’s easy to overlook this small step but it can actually be the difference between a new user clicking or not. When you don’t fill out the Title Tag and Meta Tag fields, your content link will appear without context when it appears on a search page. Finally, take the extra time to make sure your titles and meta tags are clear and straightforward, cute and witty is great but readable is best.

5. Over-Stuffing Keywords

Yes, we know, keyword stuffing used to be the sure fire way to improve your SEO rankings, well we’re here to tell you that times have changed. Now search engines have grown more sophisticated and can spot overstuffed keywords from a mile away. Instead of trying to pack on keywords, focus on a few relevant keywords and include them only when relevant.

6. Not Being Mobile-Friendly

Making your site mobile-friendly isn’t going to directly affect your SEO ranking but consider this: if people click on your website from their mobile devices and land on a clunky site that isn’t mobile optimized, they’ll likely bounce off the site right away. With mobile searches increasing year over year, this is something to keep in mind.

Make these small tweaks and you’ll already be ahead of the curve. Bet a lot of these were simpler than you imagined. You’ve got this. Happy SEO optimizing!  

Data Solutions: Much More Than Just SEO

There are many ways to bring traffic into your website when you’re working with a digital marketing agency. Within marketing, we call these channels. To clients, they look more like services. The primary channels for bringing in digital marketing traffic are:

  • Social Media
  • Pay-Per-Click and Remarketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • 3rd Party Links (i.e. – press coverage, interviews)

It’s very uncommon that any of these channels will perform on its own. This is almost always a blend of tactics, integrated into one campaign. The better your campaign target and messaging, the more likely it is to resonate with prospects. This is where a data solutions department can be particularly useful.


What Does a Data Solutions Department Do?


Using analytics data for the basis of digital marketing decisions allows organizations to make decisions informed by the activity of users, and a data-focused team can look at customer behavior across channels, in order to bring better value from each of these channels.

With the introduction of SSL increasing the share of not provided keywords, search traffic analysis needs to rely on visitor interactions and landing page performance in addition to keyword performance – making a blend of data analysis even more important.

Philosophy aside, what an SEO and Data Solutions department actually does for a client will include:

Implementing and Tracking Site Traffic and Visitor Behavior

This includes using Google Analytics, search database tools, heat mapping, and form tracking to understand where visitors are clicking and where they aren’t, allowing marketing departments to make more precise campaign decisions.

Targeting Site Optimization

An extension of reporting, a data solutions team watches actual traffic behavior in order to spend time optimizing pages that are earning visitors, using search query data to understand whether the landing page fits visitor intent, and adjusting copy to earn more traffic and properly target the visitors landing there.

Proposing New Content

Regular content creation is a surefire SEO booster. An SEO and Data team will be able to suggest new content based on keyword performance, industry trends, and landing page performance. This content can also be reviewed with heatmaps and targeted traffic reporting.

Content is where your data solutions department goes beyond SEO. The right content can be reconfigured and presented for social media, Pay-Per-Click, and strategic email campaigns. Over time, content engagement and conversion data creates a sophisticated understanding of product interest across channels.

Monitoring Competitors

Competitor SEO data, especially for an organization with a new or underperforming website, Is incredibly valuable. Competitor data like keyword positions, popular landing pages, and pay-per-click keywords offers direction for new content or SEO priorities.

If a marketing client is a new entrant in a competitive space, a full SEO and marketing competitor analysis may be advantageous for developing a smart and strategic SEO and digital marketing campaign.


Technical Site Performance and SEO


A top-level conversion focus powers online marketing growth, but only if it is on a solid technical and user experience foundation. An SEO department has access to tools and expertise in auditing websites for technical, security, or user experience issues that are impacting search appearance.

Regular site audits for SEO and security are critical for growing search traffic – all of the keyword data in the world is powerless if your technical foundation is shaky. Our SEO and data department conducts regular site audit scans and stays on the forefront of search ranking factors in order to keep client sites performing.

This means that, when starting SEO, the first phase of the plan may look more similar to a web development project than a traditional search engine optimization roadmap. Getting a website up-to-date with technical specifications early helps future content rank faster when it’s published. Charging straight to keyword optimization while leaving technical optimizations on the backburner will hamper your search traffic performance.

Goal-Oriented SEO Strategy

Your SEO reports should include conversion data! Conversions can have a variety of definitions – ecommerce sales, B2B quote inquiries, product sample requests, etc. Your SEO team should understand what your business goals are, and track them within Google Analytics.

Google Tag Manager makes these goals easier and more comprehensive to track, easily marketing events, and turning select events into goals.

Goal implementation and goal-oriented reporting means our SEO and Data Solutions department is able to provide conversion information for keywords, traffic sources, and landing pages by digital marketing channel. Reviewing this reporting reveals opportunities to optimize landing pages for conversions, improving marketing value over time.